The World Class Coll dels Reis Climb
Reason enough to come to Mallorca.
The 12 km stretch of road up from Port Sa Calobra, over the top of Col dels Reis (682m) and down to the aqueduct is reason enough to come cycling in Mallorca. Featuring in most peoples top 10 climbs in the world it is, for a road cyclist, a must do. The scenery is spellbinding and the ride is literally breathtaking.
The road, (with an average gradient of 7% was built in 1932 without the use of machinery and in a way that avoids tunnels to make the most of the scenery), clings to the mountainside like a giant has discarded a strand of spaghetti. Straights, 50 bends (more than a few hairpin) and a 270 degree loop where the road goes under itself, keep cyclists on their toes with wide smiles or nervous grins.
We have the Palma born engineer Antonio Paretti to thank for this masterpiece (as well as the road out to Cap Formentor). Under his direction, 31 000 cubic metres of rock was removed by hand to realise his dream. His design used the mountains natural curves to keep the gradient mostly the same until the 2 km to go mark which are the hardest and contain two short sections on bends that are steeper at a just manageable 11.5% gradient.
When cycling in Mallorca, if you want to ride Sa Calobra with fresh legs for a PB, take the Sa Calobra Express from Port de Pollença, Alcudia, Can Picafort or Playa de Muro to the aqueduct and ride it with fresh legs.